The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Girls und Panzer in World of Tanks

“It’s not about what I want, it’s about what’s fair!” -Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

Today, it was announced that a Japanese branch for Wargaming.net would be opened, and that there would be collaboration between the developers of World of Tanks and the producers of Girls und Panzer. Said collaboration is presently of an unknown nature. The Japanese servers for World of Tanks will officially launch on September 5, 2013, and with it, the release of the Chi Nu Kai tank. Wargaming.net’s World of Tanks is an online multiplayer game that was released in 2010 and is built around player-versus-player team games, wherein the player operates an armoured vehicle and aims to complete various team-driven objectives. The various game types include standard elimination and capture missions, as well as clan wars. World of Tanks is one of the more popular multiplayer games around, assisted by the fact that it follows a free-to-play model. All of these attributes mean that in theory, it would be quite simple to sign up, grab a client and begin laying waste to the numerous Girls und Panzer fans out there. While the presence of numerous Girls und Panzer fans have made it tempting for me to step in and humble them, there are no screenshots of my victories here. This has arisen owing to a two factors that gives World of Tanks a steeper learning curve compared to other games.

  • No one should be unfamiliar with Yukari Akiyama (above) by this point: her enthusiasm for tanks is endearing, but unlike the Anteater team, I do not believe she is stated to play online tank games in-universe.

There is a paradigm that determines how steep the learning curve to any given game is: I’ve named this as the “Stock Paradigm”, which states that a game is accessible to new players if it is possible for a player to, using basic equipment and skills exclusively, accomplish their in-game objectives appropriate to their level in the game. In a first-person shooter, this means that any weapon can be used to effectively make kills, while in an RPG game, players should be able to complete quests at their level using level-appropriate gear and in-game skills. Thus, a player should hypothetically be able to perform well on the virtue of their skills, rather than become dependent on higher-tier equipment to become successful. One of the best examples is Team Fortress 2, where the stock loadout is sufficient to take down any other player. The basic weapons aren’t weaker or more ineffective, they’re simply balanced; the unlockable weapons simply have particular attributes that make it more suited for a particular style of gameplay, and appropriately, have caveats to prevent them from being overpowered. For instance, the Liberty Launcher (a rocket launcher) that fires faster rockets, but holds less ammunition, and the Brass Beast (a mini-gun) that deals 20% more damage will also take twice as long to spin-up time, as well as reducing the operator’s movement by 60%. It is entirely possible to defeat any player using the stock weapons, meaning that there is no need to unlock anything to make the game easier per se.

  • For reference, these screenshots are from Crysis. While I chose not to here, it is possible to disembark from the tank, and, making extensive use of missile launchers, C4 charges and cloak mode, sneaking around the battlefield and wiping out armour that way. Imagine the chaos caused by such an implementation in World of Tanks.

  • I have chosen not to play World of Tanks for the present because the game requires a considerable investment to obtain sufficiently good weapons. I don’t have 3 hours a day and six of seven days a week to dedicate to farming XP and gold. That time belongs to rather more productive things, like work and drinking beer with my friends.

  • My über-micro gives me supernatural performance in most games, However, I don’t have a particular wish to download the World of Tanks client again, so, in the interest of fairness, those interested in seeing my über-micro can meet me halfway and square off in Team Fortress 2. Like World of Tanks, it’s free-to-play, but more importantly, unlike World of Tanks, loadout and skill are independent.

  • Dear Sumeragi “Daigensui” Akeiko: I’m sorry if the Nishizumi style was weak to begin with. I’m sorry I’m the better strategist because I studied Chinese methods. And I’m most definitely sorry that anyone using the Nishizumi style be wrecked if they ever were to use their methods in real life for any reason. Yes, this foreshadows one of my future posts.

Moreover, most multiplayer games online come with a server browser, allowing players to pick and choose which servers they want to enter for their games. This feature is especially important in games where there are levels; players are given a chance to play against players with similar time investments. With similar access to equipment and resources, players at a similar level will win and lose games based on skill (and sometimes luck), rather than how powerful their gear is. Tribes: Ascend is a textbook example of how to go about implementing this correctly. In the server browser, there is an option to sort active servers by server levels: players of a certain range of levels are permitted on certain servers, and if they are outside the server’s specified level range, the server simply rejects the connection. This approach allows players with a similar amount of experience in the game to play against each other- players who have been around longer are likely to be more familiar with the game mechanics and equipment. It follows that they would have an advantage over the new players. Should the new players constantly suffer defeat and level more slowly, their inclination to play the game will drop and they will eventually stop playing. The implementation of a level filter gives players a greater chance of getting used to the game and improve sufficiently to play alongside the senior players.

  • Ami Chouno observes the battle between Saunders and Ooarai on her Type 10. As noted in a previous post, main battle tanks aren’t used in Panzerfahren because of their overwhelming performance in comparison to the tanks of the WWII-era: I could probably solo the entire Mädchen und Panzer clan with the Abrams M1A2, even if their entire team were equipped with the Panzer VIII Maus.

In World of Tanks, there is no server browser, so players looking to earn some money and get into the game would need to choose a random game and fight against players with better gear and experience. My first experience with World of Tanks involved being dealt a catastrophic kill around 15 seconds into the game by a player with a Tier 8 tank. With no means for new players to play specifically against players of their level, World of Tanks is remarkably frustrating: beginning players start with a small collection of Tier 1 armour, a category of tanks that is woefully inferior to the armour that is later unlocked. I could empty my entire reserve of shells against a higher-tier tank, only for the rounds to hit nothing but air (crews need to be trained, using the same in-game currency) or impact harmlessly against the enemy armour. Adding insult to injury, I just lost, so I don’t even have the money to buy new shells. While higher tier tanks stand a better chance against one another, World of Tanks cannot satisfy the Stock Paradigm, since beginning players are given weapons that are completely inadequate, precluding the possibility of even surviving over the course of a winning match. The lack of a server browser means an increased number of matches fought against higher-tier players, raising the learning curve and reducing the number of initial victories, making it hard to buy equipment. The stock equipment is essentially useless, so winning is not a possibility unless I am lucky enough to find a Tier 1-only server (which I will not be able to because there is no server browser). This cyclic dependency means that one either has to make an unreasonable time commitment and play in the hopes of earning enough gold to move ahead. Of course, there’s always the option of paying coin, but I imagine for most, that would rather defeat the purpose of free-to-play. For the present, I will be found in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim or Alan Wake, two of four games hauled from the Steam Summer Sale that are decidedly more fun to play. Aside from being immersive and having brilliant graphics, there’s a small bonus of not having overly-serious Girls und Panzer fans telling me that my strats violate the Nishizumi style.

9 responses to “Girls und Panzer in World of Tanks

  1. SonyaUliana July 26, 2013 at 02:55

    No mention of the fact that World of Tanks Japan is officially having a collaboration with Girls Und Panzer?

    And nice Crysis pics there, I loved the tank combat in that one.

    Like

    • infinitezenith July 26, 2013 at 09:17

      Thanks for the heads up. Updates have been made. If an upcoming patch to World of Tanks ever introduces servers for players using a specific Tier tank and server browsers to quickly pick out the server, I would probably re-acquire the game client. A server browser would let me play with other Tier 1s until I get better. Should that day come, I’m quite prepared to eat my words🙂

      Like

      • Weslie Kuijer July 26, 2013 at 09:56

        I don’t know what you did, or how long ago you played, but unless you team up with a friend in a way higher tier tank 6 or higher, it is impossible for a tier 1 vehicle to see a tier 8. the highest you get is tier 2, and the first 10 games you play are guaranteed against new players like yourselves in tier 1 vehicles.
        Not that i’m not believing you! I’m just helping you out by correcting mistakes.

        Like

        • infinitezenith July 26, 2013 at 10:37

          I think the case described by the former would have been what happened: one of my buddies offered to show me around and he’d been playing for a while. All I know is that I was killed by something far more powerful than me within 15 seconds after getting connected with him. As to how long ago this was, this happened back when the game was six months old. After being annihilated and not finding any good guides to help, my interest waned.

          The recent announcement raised my interests, but I’m also a little discouraged by how seriously the Girls und Panzer fans take things. This post ultimately sums up to what might be considered a rant of sorts.

          It sounds like you’ve got reasonable experience, so now I have a freshman questions😉 How long would it take (in hours) to get a reasonably good tank that can put up a good fight against the Tiger IIs in the game? If doing so is realistic, it might just be enough to get me back in.

          Like

          • Weslie Kuijer July 27, 2013 at 04:30

            well lets see, you probably wont see a tiger II for the first half year, with the current matchmaking dictating that you can only get in matches with tanks max 2 tier higher or lower then yourselves. This means that by the time that you will encounter tier 8 tanks, (tiger II, Pershing, IS-3, Panther II, and the like) you yourself will be already quite rich in experience.
            So dont worry! you will learn with experience
            And some words of advice:

            1. If you are still new to the game, the soviet heavy tanks are good tanks to start with in my opinion due to their simpler, less demanding play-style. I myself sadly discovered it a bit too late…

            2. people often drop out during tier 4 because the tanks at that tier are practically incapable doing anything against tier 5, not even talking about 6. but don’t lose hope! the tanks at tier 5 are very much fun to play, and will mark the start of you learning and implementing tactics that you will be using during the rest of the game

            3. Look on your mini-map! Be aware of your surroundings and don’t dead-focus on a single tank during an engagement. when the situation gets too hot, retreat, regroup and try again late.

            Ps: if you want more information about the mechanics in the game, the tanks, tactics, maps, and the game in general, you should visit the wiki:
            http://wiki.worldoftanks.eu/Main_Page
            PPS: i hope i didn’t talk too much, ill shut up now.

            Like

          • infinitezenith July 27, 2013 at 13:47

            I appreciate the feedback! Some of your comments weren’t showing because Akismet went nuts, but I’ve restored them🙂 I’ll see if I can get World of Tanks into my schedule: thanks for the suggestions!

            Like

  2. voiceanger August 6, 2013 at 20:36

    give me that MOD link for 8.7 patch D:
    i needed it D:

    Like

  3. Vignesh June 23, 2014 at 16:44

    World of Tanks has a matchmaker. This ensures that you will only encounter other tanks that are +/- 2 tiers, and rarely, +/- 3 tiers from the tank you are using.

    Anyway, thanks for the anime news, particularly on ‘Girls und Panzer’.

    If you find any news on ‘Girls and Panzer’ season 2, or ‘Strike Witches’ season 3, or ‘K-On!’ season 3, or anything concerning these anime’s, be sure to report it!

    Like

    • infinitezenith June 30, 2014 at 19:36

      That would hopefully help new players get into World of Tanks, although as it stands now, I’m unlikely to pick up the game, especially with the direction they’ve taken regarding the Japanese line.

      I appreciate the feedback: presently, Girls und Panzer is getting an OVA, coming out on July 25, and a movie with an unknown release date. Strike Witches will be getting some new OVAs in September 2014, detailing some of the adventures and events the 501st experience between season two and the movie. As for K-On!, I think things ended with the movie back in 2012, and after the manga’s completion, I haven’t heard anything since then. I’ll do my best to keep you posted, though🙂

      Like

Please provide feedback!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: